I just do not understand why this film has been slated by so many critics: it is great fun and it is Bond. I have read too frequently that this is too far removed from traditional Bond formula, but this is utter nonsense. Permit me to explain why: it has a car chase; a boat chase; an aeroplane chase; various foot chases; scantily clad women in the opening title sequence; vodka gin martinis (6 of them in one sitting – a series record I believe); sexy women; gruesome death; wry humour and quips (“I think she has handcuffs,” says Mathis. “Hope so,” replies Bond dryly); exotic locations; bad baddies; men who strive for world domination; explosions – lots of them; great banter between Bond and M; a dry, ruthless and driven Daniel Craig; and even a henchman with a silly haircut. What more could you want? Okay, well maybe you could want a little more plot. The idea of the arch-villain craving control of the world’s water supply so he charge exorbitant fees seems like something Dr Evil would come up with. And Fields’ sardonic apology when she trips the (awful fringed – so bad it needs mentioning twice) henchman down the stairs is, unfortunately, a dreadful piece of acting. But as complaints go, that it is. This is not as good as Casino Royale (not much is to be honest), but it is a worthy sequel and I am still loving this resurrection of the franchise and its gritty real world resurgence. Daniel Craig IS James Bond.
James Bond doesn’t get any better than this. In fact, film doesn’t get much better than this either come to think of it. Challenged with reinvigorating the series they did just that. Daniel Craig explodes onto the screen with a fantastic noir-esque pre title sequence, and then gets your Bond juices flowing with an epic chase through Madagascar (actually the Bahamas) that allows us to see Craig’s characterisation of Bond from the outset: a tough and brutal agent hell bent on getting his man. When he burst through the dry wall I knew I was in for a treat. Martin Campbell has made two of the best Bond films in the last twenty years with this and with Goldeneye, both times having been challenged with kick-started the franchise, and both times hitting a bull’s eye. Perhaps the only disappointing thing about this outing for me was that Bond was seen driving a Ford. And they tried to make him look cool whilst doing so. A Ford. And not even a Ford Mustang (would have been excusable) but a Ford Mondeo! Grandpas drive them, not James Bloody Bond. Anyway… moving on. The locations are what you would expect from a Bond film; there are no Moore style campy jokes, but instead the script is darker and grittier; the gambling is well done; the torture scene superb (amazingly containing a laugh out loud funny bit too) and to wrap it all off, Craig is superb as 007. He is powerful, brutal, ripped, cocky and Fleming would be proud. What is so impressive about Casino Royale is that it is just as successfully the 1st Bond film as it is the 21st. And this really is some achievement. More please. Lots more.
Another lonely voice on the internet.